Find out the Best Answer: How To Drive A Manual Car

Find out the Best Answer: How To Drive A Manual Car

August 7, 2021 0 By onroadtips

Despite the introduction of automatic cars, manual cars still retain a certain number of loyal customers. One of the popular reasons is that manual cars can meet the criteria of those with average income. The price of purchasing and repairing a manual car is lower than that of an automatic car. Besides, a manual car often offers the pure form of driving that drivers favor.

Whatever the reason why one decides to pursue manual cars, many feel it is difficult to learn how to drive a manual car. For those who lack the confidence to drive a manual car, our article will be helpful as you will figure out how to drive a manual car smoothly.  

Prepare Before You Start Driving A Manual Car

When it comes to driving a manual car, the most frequent question is how to drive a manual car for beginners?

Beginners had better learn about pedal types first. Three different pedals on this vehicle come with distinguished functions: clutch, brake, and accelerator (from left to right).

types of pedals
3 types of pedals

Surely, our first instructions on how to drive a manual car for beginners include distinguishing these pedals. The brake must be nothing strange for you, and simply it is what helps you slow down the car. On the contrary, the accelerator will speed your manual car up.

The most distinct feature of the manual car is the clutch pedal. This mechanical device transfers the power from a manual car’s engine to its drive wheels. By pressing it down, you’re disconnecting the car’s engine with its drive wheels. 

How To Drive Manual Cars Step By Step

Instead of answering the question of how I drive a manual car in snow or desert, we’ll provide you with basic steps of how to drive a manual car in general. 

Step 1: Adjust Your Car’s Mirrors

Before starting the car, do not forget to adjust both the internal mirror and wing mirrors to ensure a convenient and clear sight. This action makes driving the car even safer because drivers won’t have to struggle to alter the mirrors while on the ride.

Start a car

Step 2: Start The Manual Car In Neutral

Ensuring your manual car is neutral before cranking its engine and depressing its clutch pedal to prevent incurred hiccups. For older manual cars, it is not necessary to switch on by depressing the clutch. Sometimes, a modern manual car requires engaging the clutch before starting its engine. 

Step 3 Shift Into The First Gear 

It is advisable to engage the clutch with your left foot. As your car is running, shift the gear-lever into first gear. Our experiences state that it’s best to let your left foot operate the clutch and the right one push the accelerator and brake pedals.

Step 4: Set Your Car In Motion

Depress the clutch pedal as you disengage the parking brake. When the clutch plates get contacted, and there is a decline in revs, lift the clutch pedal. At this “bite point,” you will make your car crawl if you disengage the clutch further without an accelerator input.

Step 5: Shift Into Higher Gears

The upshift process includes letting the accelerator go off, pressing the clutch and finally shifting the gear lever into second gear. During the process, you have to maintain the momentum and release the clutch. 

Usually, the sign of upshift point for petrol-power cars is 1500-2500 rounds per minute, while a diesel-powered car has engine revs of 1500 2500 rounds per minute. You should perform this upshifting and modulating process quickly and successively.

Then what about driving uphill? How to drive a manual car uphill? Let’s take a closer look.

Driving uphill does not only require you to follow strict principles such as making sure your car is in first gear, pulling the handbrake combined with pressing the release button, keeping the handbrake, etc. 

You must be a skillful driver; otherwise, you may end up putting yourself in unnecessary danger. Proper knowledge of the geographic features of the road would come in handy.

Step 6: Downshift To Lower Gears

City dwellers often have to deal with traffic jams. So it is essential to know how to drive a manual car in traffic.

It will be hard to move fast during congestion, and you’ll need to maintain a low speed for quite some time. By releasing the car’s accelerator, depressing its clutch, and ultimately downshifting it to a lower gear will enable you to slow your car down.

Step 7: Stop The Manual Car

You need to stop your car not only when arriving at the destination but also towards unexpected situations. With a manual car, all you have to do is to downshift the accelerator slowly and push down the brake pedal with a moderate force. When your car seems to crawl the road, shift it into neutral and let the wheels free to roll. 

Then you can stop the car by engaging the clutch and depressing the brake. In urgent cases, depressing the clutch and shifting the car into neutral can stop it immediately.

Stop a manual car

Step 8: Reverse Your Manual Car

Shift the reverse gear as and when you stop the car. To avoid accidents, remember to look around to detect obstacles or people during the process. 

Step 9: Park Your Manual Car

A manual car is different from an automatic car because it does not have a “Park” gear. Instead, you can shift your car into the first or reverse gear or engage its emergency brake to park. 

Pros and Cons Of Driving A Manual Car


  • Easy to control in disadvantaged situations
  • Efficiency fuel consumption
  • A reasonable car repair
  • Durable engine


  • Difficult to operate
  • Inconvenient manual gear shifting
  • Require long-time practice


Our nine steps above have clearly shown you how to drive a manual car step by step. Though it might be challenging to acquire the skills, believe us, time will tell you the answer. For further understanding and mastering the vehicle, we suggest you look for more information about this aspect.